17 NBA teams have single D-League affiliate, leaving 13 other NBA teams to share one

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Next season, 17 NBA teams will have their own D-League affiliate. Those teams have the advantage of controlling the affiliates’ basketball operations – managing the roster, hiring a coach, setting a style of play, dictating playing time.

The relationship comes with a real-dollar cost, but NBA teams have seen the advantage. More and more want single affiliates.

Unfortunately, the D-League hasn’t grown fast enough to keep up.

Here are the 2014-15 affiliations, as released by the NBA today. One D-League team is not like the others.

AUSTIN TOROS (TX)

San Antonio Spurs

BAKERSFIELD JAM (CA)

Phoenix Suns

CANTON CHARGE IO(OH)

Cleveland Cavaliers

DELAWARE 87ERS (Newark, DE)

Philadelphia 76ers

ERIE BAYHAWKS (PA)

Orlando Magic

FORT WAYNE MAD ANTS (IN)

Atlanta Hawks

Brooklyn Nets

Charlotte Bobcats

Chicago Bulls

Denver Nuggets

Indiana Pacers

Los Angeles Clippers

Milwaukee Bucks

Minnesota Timberwolves

New Orleans Pelicans

Portland Trail Blazers

Toronto Raptors

Washington Wizards

GRAND RAPIDS DRIVE (MI)

Detroit Pistons

IDAHO STAMPEDE (Boise, ID)

Utah Jazz

IOWA ENERGY (Des Moines, IA)

Memphis Grizzlies

LOS ANGELES D-FENDERS (CA)

Los Angeles Lakers

MAINE RED CLAWS (Portland, ME)

Boston Celtics

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER NBA D-LEAGUE TEAM (OK)

Oklahoma City Thunder

RENO BIGHORNS (NV)

Sacramento Kings

RIO GRANDE VALLEY VIPERS (Hidalgo, TX)

Houston Rockets

SANTA CRUZ WARRIORS (CA)

Golden State Warriors

SIOUX FALLS SKYFORCE (SD)

Miami Heat

TEXAS LEGENDS (Frisco, TX)

Dallas Mavericks

WESTCHESTER KNICKS (White Plains, NY)

New York Knicks

Yup, that’s 13 NBA teams sharing the Mad Ants. The other 17 NBA teams each get their own D-League squad.

So, what happens when the Hawks, Nets, Bobcats, Bulls, Nuggets, Pacers, Clippers, Bucks, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Trail Blazers, Raptors and Wizards all want to assign players to Fort Wayne?

To accommodate assignments to Fort Wayne, a flexible assignment system will be utilized when an independent NBA team assigns a player at a time when the Mad Ants already have either the maximum of four NBA players on assignment or two assigned players at the position of the NBA player who is being assigned.  In either event, the NBA D-League will identify to the assigning NBA team any singly-affiliated NBA D-League team that is willing to accept the assigned player, and the independent NBA team assigning the player will choose a team from among those teams to assign the player.  If no singly-affiliated NBA D-League team is willing to accept the assigned player, he will be assigned to one of the non-NBA-owned single affiliate teams pursuant to a lottery.

The Spurs, Cavaliers, 76ers, Lakers, Thunder,Warriors and Knicks own their own D-League teams, so they’ll be exempt from taking unwanted players. The singly affiliated NBA teams that don’t own their D-League squads – the Suns, Magic, Grizzlies, Pistons, Celtics, Kings, Rockets and Heat – will take part in the lottery. The Mavericks, whose D-League team is owned by Don Nelson, operate in a gray area, but it sounds as if they’ll be in the lottery.

This is all a temporary solution, though. In due time, every NBA team will have its own D-League team. We’re headed in that direction – more rapidly than ever.

Watch Kawhi Leonard dunk all over Giannis Antetokounmpo, highlight of 26-3 Toronto run

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For most of the first three quarters of Game 6, the Milwaukee Bucks were in control of the game and looked to be on the way to forcing a Game 7.

But Kawhi Leonard sparked a 10-0 run for Toronto to end the third, scoring eight and assisting on a Serge Ibaka bucket.

That run carried over into the fourth and became a 26-3 run that was highlighted by this insane dunk by Leonard over Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Insane.

I’d say that’s Leonard’s best shot as a Raptor if not for the series winner against Philadelphia.

The Bucks responded with a 7-0 run and this game is going to go down to the wire.

Bucks play with desperation, lead by as many as 15 in first half

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If you think a 15-point lead is safe, go talk to a Portland Trail Blazers fan and get back to me.

The Bucks will still take it. Milwaukee has come out with a sense of desperation, but more importantly got to play with some pace and couldn’t miss early from three — they started 4-of-6 and were 7-of-13 from three as of this writing — and what we saw were play after play from the Bucks, the kinds of things we haven’t seen the last three games. They led by 13 after one, and the lead got as high as 15.

Can the Bucks sustain this, or will they cool down as the Raptors heat up? It’s going to be a wild rest of the game in Toronto.

The Raptors are up 3-2 in the series and playing for their first ever franchise trip to the Finals. The Bucks are playing to force a Game 7 Monday back in Milwaukee.

 

Dwyane Wade got an All-NBA vote, Gabrielle Union would have gone with Klay Thompson

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Honesty from your spouse is a bedrock of any good relationship.

But come on Gabrielle Union, show your man a little love.

Dwyane Wade got one second-team All-NBA vote, and he took to an Instagram story to thank that voter (even if he wouldn’t have voted for himself). His wife would not have voted for her man.

Just a few notes:

• That is a funny video.

• We do not know who cast that vote for Wade, yet. The NBA’s end of season awards are voted on by 100 media members who cover the league (the NBA selects those voters). There is transparency, the full votes will be released after the NBA’s award show next month.

• Third team All-NBA guard was probably the toughest choice on the entire ballot. Because the NBA forces voters to select only two guards for each of the teams (six guards total), rather than allowing voters to just chose the 15 best players for the honor, deserving guys get left off every year. In this case, Stephen Curry and James Harden were first-team locks. Damian Lillard was a clear second-team choice, and a majority of voters had Kyrie Irving joining him on the second team. Russell Westbrook was not far behind Irving and was clear-and-away the fifth choice for voters. That left one guard spot between Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson, Bradley Beal, Ben Simmons, or anyone else considered worthy (Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, etc.). There is no wrong choice in that group. If players were not locked into positions for All-NBA more guards would have made the cut in an increasingly backcourt dominated league. (For transparency purposes, I did vote Walker in on my ballot barely over Thompson.)

• No media members I know are comfortable with these votes having an impact on player salaries. It makes us all uneasy, even as voters study and try to make the best choices. The NBA and players’ union need to come up with a better system in the next CBA. I’ve got a crazy idea, how about letting the teams decide who is worthy of being paid that much?

Brooklyn Nets like Kyrie Irving, but how much does he like them?

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Kyrie Irving is a popular guy. He has a strong relationship with Kevin Durant and rumors of them pairing up on the Knicks next season have been rampant all over the league this season. Irving also is hanging out with LeBron James in Los Angeles, and LBJ is reportedly up for the idea of getting the band back together (minus Kevin Love, and in Los Angeles this time). Boston has every intention of keeping Irving, and ideally pairing him with Anthony Davis who they would acquire via trade.

The Brooklyn Nets will be free agent players this summer and think they would be an excellent fit for Irving. The goal would be to pair him with All-Star D'Angelo Russell in the backcourt, reports Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

How seriously is Irving considering the Nets? A lot, according to Anthony Puccio of SNY in New York.

Sources tell SNY that Kyrie Irving and his camp are strongly considering Brooklyn if he decides to leave Boston. Irving’s camp has kept a close eye on the Nets as the season progressed and the team got better, with the playoffs only helping their case.

SNY also learned recently that the Nets would not shy away from signing Irving even if they re-sign point guard D’Angelo Russell. The ideal scenario would be to pair two max free agents, such as Kevin Durant and Irving, but sources say the Nets would be open to pairing Irving and Russell in the backcourt together.

The Nets, just like the Clippers, could be major players in free agency this summer (the Clippers are more focused on Kawhi Leonard, but if he chooses to stay in Toronto the Clippers will be a potential force in trades and on the free agent market). This is a young team that surprised everyone and made the playoffs this season, they have a good culture and good role players, they just need a star or two to take them over the top.

Irving could be that guy, or at least one of those guys, in Brooklyn.

Irving will have options and you can bet his decision is not yet made. He may be leaning one way or another, but circumstances with other players and time to think things over may (likely will) change his mind. Maybe a few times.

Where his mind is July 1 matters. It could be in Brooklyn then, but it could be a lot of places.